Director Crowe goes existential in this puzzling, surreal thriller, a remake of Alejandro Amenabar's 1997 Spanish film, "Abre los Ojos." Cruise plays David Aames, a publishing magnate and playboy who's got it all except for real love. Just when he thinks he's found it in the form of aspiring dancer Sofia (Cruz, reprising her role from the original), a bitter ex-lover (Diaz) changes the game by inadvertently changing David's pretty face. Fairly straightforward allegory becomes science fiction, where David (and the audience) can't tell dream from reality. Thought-provoking, even deliberately confusing plot may frustrate some. But for those who like to sink their brains into a film, it'll will be rewarding, whether you like the explain-it-all ending or not. Decent acting, dreamy cinematography, and an engaging soundtrack will provide entertainment at the very least.
Requires more than one viewing KHL at 2008-03-24 17:36:48
I know that I was a bit perplexed on the first viewing, but after the second or third time I began to really appreciate the complexity that director Crowe uses to build the story and give small and subtle cues about the plot early on. Like or hate Tom Cruise, he is excellent as David, a petulant and shallow person whose life is changed by a sudden event. David must face the person he is and the things he's done, but what else is really going on and why does reality seem to be competing with fantasy in David's mind?
Some may find this long, drawn out and boring (see the completely mixed reviews of critics and filmgoers), but if you're willing to be patient, I think it's a highly rewarding and thought provoking film. Diaz as the psycho ex from hell, Cruz as the bubbly new love and Lee as the wisecracking friend all give great performances as well and the soundtrack fits amazingly with the themes and moods of the film.